As we move into March the spring temperatures rise (we hope), the daylight hours increase and so the spring tasks in the garden step up a gear.
I have managed to do much of the pruning and all the clematis have been cleared up, tied in and fed.

The Hazel Corylus Maxima (Filbert) was pruned when the catkins came into show as this helps with the pollination due to the branches being shaken. In late summer, I ‘brutted’ the long branches, which means to partially break the stems, these are also pruned now.

The Hamamelis, Witch Hazels, are still flowering and filling the air with their scent although a light trim before the leaves come is on the list of things to do.

There is plenty of colour in the garden:

  • Snowdrops (Galanthus) in great abundance
  • Crocuses
  • Daffodils
  • Anemone Blanda
  • Reticulata Irises – Danfordiae, Harmony and Katharine Hodgkin

anemone blandasnowdrop galanthus nivalis

The first of my Rhododendrons are in flower however, the down side is that the flowers can be affected if we get a late frost.

Also, the Pieris is flowering in all shapes and sizes throughout the garden with their small urn shaped flowers, even one that was here when we bought the house 30 years ago!

About to come into its own is Cornus Mas with its bright yellow flowers.

cornus mas

Throughout Perthshire, we have many gardens open to the public for the February and March Snowdrop Festival. These gardens include Blair Castle Garden, Cluny House, Fingask Castle and Cambo House. Some years ago at the Cambo House Snowdrop Festival, I bought a small pot with two G.Nivalis Sandersii bulbs in it for £10. They were planted in a stone trough and given a very large label so as to keep an eye on them and watch them grow slowly and flower well. I hear that a unique snowdrop just sold for £750!

Next week sees the delivery of six climbing roses from Peter Beales. For the first time I am going to use Rootgrow ™, a friendly mycorrhizal fungi that helps improve root growth. It is recommended by The Royal Horticultural Society. Alongside each of these roses, I will plant a clematis so they complement each other.

All the potato tubers were planted up into large containers and placed in the cold greenhouse so we can look forward to new potatoes in the early summer. I am trying 5 different types of potato this year so I will let you know how they get on and how they taste. This week should see me planting my tomato seeds in the propagator, and if the weather stays fair, broad beans in the veg patch.

My membership for the The Royal Horticultural Society is due to be renewed, the monthly magazine is always full of inspiring gardens and useful information. I have used their website on many occasions, especially the gardening advice they offer from the experts.

Plant Heritage has sent me several copies of their new Membership Application forms, in which my National Mylnefield Lilies collection is featured. In July, the Grampian and Tayside Group members of Plant Heritage are visiting Parkhead Gardens to hopefully see the Mylnefield Lilies coming into bloom. I have managed to add L.’Iona’ to my collection (picture below is courtesy of The Lily Garden). I discovered it was for sale at ‘The Lily Garden‘, a specialist grower of Lilies in Vancouver. There are ‘Adonis’, ‘Eureka’ ‘Invergowrie’ and ‘Pandora’ still to find.

Iona Lily - picture courtesy of The Lily Garden

I am enjoying the Beekeepers course I am attending and hope to get my bees sometime in May. On clearing the area for the beehive, I discovered a hedgehog under a Geranium (Cranesbill) Macrorrhizum and the pond is alive with frogs doing what frogs do at this time of year, the water positively moves with activity!